On the Obama Cult

To be honest, I am getting a bit nauseous. I have seen so much sentimental sop, sycophantic personality worship and liberal drooling in the past 24 hours, that I really do feel ready to lose my breakfast. With the convergence of two things – an ultraliberal American president and an ultraliberal mainstream media – one could be forgiven for thinking that the Messiah has in fact arrived on planet earth.

The appalling personality cult that has arisen over the new president, along with the irrational expectations that these adoring throngs have elevated around him, is really a very worrying spectacle. One recalls similar scenes of almost hypnotic cult worship in recent history, and many of these political demigods turned out to be really bad news for planet earth.

Indeed, the worship of Obama as if he were some sort of god who is even now bringing heaven on earth has reached fever pitch. But before the leftists get too carried away, let me point out just one fact: when the real Messiah came, he was not met with an adoring press, drooling rock stars and loving masses.

In fact, wherever he went, we read that he caused division. And the true mark of his genuine messianic status can be seen in the fact that people ultimately responded to him as they do to true Christians today – he was rejected. Indeed, he was crucified. That is how the world reacted to the true Messiah. Quite the opposite of what we are witnessing at the moment.

Of course that the American and Australian media is overwhelmingly leftist is simply a given, so when one of their own becomes the leader of the free world, one can expect such nauseous worship and rapturous adoration. The media was meant to be a sort of independent player, providing objectivity and critical discernment. But much of it has lost any such ability, and many in the media are now simply acting like crazed teenyboppers at a Miley Cyrus concert.

With this overwhelming wave of adulation and worship, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person left on the planet who felt decidedly queasy about all this. But fortunately there seem to be others who have not been taken in by this global frenzy. A few writers have also noted their amazement at this cult of personality. Let me briefly mention three writers from three continents.

The first, from the US, offers a bit of balance to my remarks. Mona Charen acknowledges that of course many people are genuinely elated about the new president. Not all this mania is cult worship and adolescent rock-concert hysteria. Many have legitimate hopes and expectations about the new president:

“I did not vote for the man who today becomes the 44th president of the United States, and in fact, advocated for his opponent. But I am not immune to the happiness of those who did support him, particularly African-Americans, and – to slice it a little thinner– particularly older African-Americas who actually lived through the contempt and cruelty of Jim Crow America. I do not for minute deny the symbolic greatness of the moment, and despite my wariness of President Obama’s policies, it makes me happy to see so many of my fellow Americans in a celebratory, patriotic mood. (If the shoe were on the other foot, however, I doubt that they would reciprocate these sentiments.)”

But after making these conciliatory remarks, the rest of her column points out some sobering truths about the world we live in, and how Obama will have to come back down to earth and face these tough challenges. That will be the real test of his messianic pretentions. From the UK Gerald Warner also asks hard questions, after noting the media hysteria surrounding the inauguration:

“This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence – la trahison des clercs – in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.”

He also wonders how all this mass adulation and this new messiah-figure will translate into any genuine change: “It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.”

Finally, Australian commentator Janet Albrechtsen begins her piece with these words: “You  know that something is amiss with rational judgment when economics Nobel laureate Amartya Sen describes events surrounding Barack Obama’s arrival as US President as ‘turning an exceptional human being into almost the kind of godhead that he has become’. Sober analysts must be standing aside, wondering about the role of emotion in politics and its implications for critical scrutiny of Obama’s presidency. But many other observers have metaphorically cast aside their crutches and accepted that Obama has made them whole again.”

She concludes this way: “Progressive politics is essentially an emotional, rather than rational, pursuit. Its foundations rest on altruistic, even utopian, beliefs about the perfectibility of man and society. For progressives, hope triumphs over experience. That causes leftist politicians to place a large premium on myth-making, rhetoric and romance. And leftist journalists swallow it whole. Results matter much less to both of them. That’s one reason, for example, that Gough Whitlam is still a demigod to the ALP and to its media adherents. In a tough world, however, we will need more from Obama and from his press gallery. What will matter is whether Obama does a good job, not whether he’s black, good looking and speaks well.”

Obviously much more will be said about all this in the days ahead. Hopefully some of the emotion and frenzy will subside, and a bit of rational and objective analysis will emerge. I will probably write more on these issues myself. But I for one am glad that the inauguration is now history. Sure, there will be days of media summations to come, but sooner or later the real world of politics will descend, the rapturous praise sessions will quiet down, and the reality of dealing with tough issues in a fallen world will kick in.

Let me conclude by saying that of course many people feel genuine happiness over the election of Obama. Many think he is a breath of fresh air. Many think he will bring real change. I do not bemoan such sentiments, although I believe they are in fact mistaken. Obama got elected by promising change, although he never really spelled out what this change would be. Now he has reality staring him in the face. I do hope he can make a go of it. And I will pray for him. But I certainly have no messianic expectations about him, and in fact I tend to fear the worst. Time will tell.


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27 Replies to “On the Obama Cult”

  1. Thanks, Bill.
    I for one am profoundly dismayed by the Obama-worship. In fact, I go so far as to declare that I do not wish him well, for that would be to wish America ill, and I have no desire to do that. My prayer is that his administration will collapse in a heap and expose him for the fraud that he is!!

    When this unscrutinised man from the seedy and corrupt realm of Chicago politics, whose citizenship (and thus eligibility) remains under a cloud, whose $1.5 mill house was obtained by the connivance and corrupt dealings of a man (Tony Rezko) now in jail on multiple counts of corruption, who is as far to the radical left as one could imagine on a whole range of political, financial, foreign policy, and moral issues, and who habitually lies to his proverbial back teeth, I fear that America has crossed the line of basic decency and integrity. The insufferable fawning only shows that many Americans want it that way.

    Am I being too harsh? Au contraire, with friends and cronies like Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi, Bill Ayers, Rahm Emanuel et al. – who needs enemies?

    I have a Messiah already, and He died and rose again. I can’t see ‘messiah’ Obama ever achieving that!

    Murray Adamthwaite

  2. I especially liked this comment from the Gerald Warner article:

    To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington’s National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing “those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents” comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union.

    It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.

    Ewan McDonald.

  3. Interesting that the doyen of dispensationalism – Hal Lindsey – believes that Obama serves as a prototype of the hysteria that will surround the Beast.
    Waybe Pelling

  4. It seems that you’re not afraid to whip up a ‘fearful’ hysteria regarding Obama’s election to the office of President and his creditials. Yet somehow this is more justified than one of hope, renewed justice for the poor, and a sense of optimism in a time of immense economic pressure for millions of Americans. For me you completely undermine your arguement’s credibilty.
    They’ve come along way from this: “Do you have blacks, too?” George W Bush to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001″
    Ben Wallis

  5. One other comment I forgot to include above: one U.S. commentator (can’t remember who) remarked that what we saw was not the inauguration of a president, but the canonization of a secular saint. That for me sums it up.

    As for Hal Lindsey and the prophecy bit, I am not a dispy, but I do see Obama as paving the way for the antichrist. He is all into the global government and citizenship thing, and so is Hillary Clinton. I am not alone in that view, and I have seen that idea expressed from quite a number of Christian pastors, people who are in no way disciples of Lindsey (who I agree is a crackpot).

    Murray Adamthwaite

  6. Thanks Ben

    We can only hope that you and the Obamaphiles are right. But we may in fact simply end up with rhetoric, hype and false hope. As I say, time will tell.

    And since you raised the topic of race, civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery’s prayer seemed to be more race baiting. Here we have a Black (really half-Black) American President, and he is still going on about the day when “black will not be asked to get back”. So much for promoting unity and seeking to overcome divisions.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Thank you Bill for drawing together those 3 voices of sanity as well as your own assessment of the ONE. Islands of rationality in a sea of emotional stupidity and worship. I too have a vomit inducing reaction to this adulation of the liar in chief, lover of infanticide and abortion…. It is quite insane and he will produce the most divided America since the Civil War. This is from Ben Shapiro at the TOWNHALL web site:

    “Obama’s inaugural address deflated us because it perfectly crystallized the quandary America now finds itself in: we wanted our faith renewed through a “transformational moment” – but now we’ve got a faithless man for president. Obama has no faith in God’s stake in the American destiny; instead, God merely “calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.” Despite his protestations to the contrary, Obama has no faith in Americans; instead, he wishes to change our hearts of stone for hearts of flesh: “we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect.”

    “Obama has only one deep and abiding faith: faith in himself. He mentioned humility three times during his inaugural address. The gentleman doth protest too much. This inauguration, in Obama’s view, was about his personal elevation; his accession to the White House was “a moment that will define a generation,” a moment when the nation “set aside childish things.” Most evocatively, Obama cited his inauguration as a moment when all cynics were thrust aside because “the ground has shifted beneath them.” The imagery of Moses (Obama) facing down Korah (Rush Limbaugh and the political right) and the ground swallowing up Korah is unmistakable.”


    He even has the cheek to quote 1 Corinthians 13! (verses 4,5,6,7 express the antithesis of Obama) Well those are quotes from BHO arch narcissist and his over arching hubris……say no more!

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  8. Excellent article as usual, Bill. The celebrity cult is an interesting phenomenon.

    It plays on our God-given need to worship and adore He Who is worthy of all praise. This phenomenon subverts that God-centric part of us into a mutant obsession focused on an unworthy object.

    Just as faith in God goes way beyond reason and is a spiritual gift that God gives the seeker, so this kind of powerful, spiritual faith in a human is also not based on reason. It is this unreasoned faith in an unworthy god which is going to give the keys of control fully over to an evil human empire which will seek to destroy our current society, based to a degree on the 10 commandments.

    I wonder how far we will drift from our moral centre with man replacing God as object of worship. Will it be OK to murder a child at the point of being born? Heck, why not murder her after she is born if you decide you don’t want her? And who will stand and say that children are not sexual beings? Why not set them free to explore their sexuality with significant adults in their lives? Why should we answer to God almighty? Man is on the throne and we will shake our fists at God. We will make the rules now.

    Don’t shake your head. These things are already in seedling stage in Europe!

    Man as god will not stop in the US. Remember our own media’s uncritical embrace of Rudd? Look for the open arms to Julia Gillard. You will know who to vote for and who must be anathema. Remember what happened to John Howard? You will follow and observe exactly what these gods dictate or you will be hounded by the new vilification laws.

    We must not be alarmed by these things. When man enstates himself as god, look up, your redemption draweth nigh. The REAL Messiah is standing by and He will avenge His glory. Woe to those who have rejected Him!

    Dee Graf

  9. This morning I tried to tune into an MSM 7:30PM TV news as I do most days before work. Today it was wall to wall Inauguration.

    Don’t think this would have been the case if that TRUE hero John McCain had won.

    Stephen White

  10. I too feel queasy about the Obama-worship in the media. I didn’t even watch the inauguration because I had had enough. And I’m no disliker of either the man or his politics. I just don’t think the media are doing the President or the public any favors by hyping him up to savior status. There are so many issues facing America, and there are so many factions in the nation’s politics, that the feet of clay of the man and his administration will inevitably be revealed pretty fast – not because they were the “wrong choice”, but simply because these are broken, fallible human beings who by definition can’t find all the answers.

    This adulation seems to contain within it the seeds of a backlash of hatred that will inevitably happen when things go wrong. And given the racial element (which is part of the American psyche, like it or not) and those social issues which should not be politicized but are, I am afraid of the form that backlash may take. The snarling among Christian – Christian!! Would Jesus talk like that? – commentators about baby-killing and homophilic policies that began before the man signed his first piece of legislation is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Jane Steen

  11. Thanks guys

    Ann Coulter, as usual, comes up with the goods. In her latest column she notes what the New York Times said about the inauguration:

    – The American public is bemused by the tasteless show-biz extravaganza surrounding Barack Obama’s inauguration today.
    – There is something to be said for some showiness in an inauguration. But one felt discomfited all the same.
    – This is an inauguration, not a coronation.
    – Is there a parallel between Mrs. Obama’s jewel-toned outfit and somebody else’s glass slippers? Why limousines and not shank’s mare?
    – It is still unclear whether we are supposed to shout “Whoopee!” or “Shame!” about the new elegance the Obamas are bringing to Washington.

    But one slight problem. Says Coulter, “These were not, of course, comments about the inauguration of the angel Obama; they are (slightly edited) comments about the inauguration of another historic president, Ronald Reagan, in January 1981.”


    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  12. Jane Steen

    And given the racial element (which is part of the American psyche, like it or not)

    Oh yeah, that must be why they elected a half-African president!! If there is any racism, it’s among American blacks who voted overwhelmingly against Obamov’s white rivals Hillary and McCain, not from whites, the majority of whom went for Obamov.

    and those social issues which should not be politicized but are, I am afraid of the form that backlash may take. The snarling among Christian – Christian!! Would Jesus talk like that? –

    Of course, Christian critisism is “snarling” to the Left, but the widespread Palin Derangement Syndrome and “Bush = Hitler” from the Left is not.

    Jesus was very forthright in His criticisms, so it’s very easy to imagine that he would denounce abortion as “antenatal child murder” — as did the founders of feminism!

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  13. Jane Steen:

    those social issues which should not be politicized but are

    Yes, but who politicised them? – The Left, that’s who. You would think something as fundamental as the right to life could be supported by both Left and Right, but no, the Left had to go and make it a partisan political issue.

    commentators about baby-killing and homophilic policies that began before the man signed his first piece of legislation

    But it wasn’t before he’d voted on his first piece of legislation and infamously that included voting against the Born Alive Infant Protection bill. There is much on the public record already that demonstrates Obama to be one of the most extreme supporters of abortion and the homosexual lifestyle ever to have held public office in the USA.

    Ewan McDonald.

  14. I have seen your future, America, and it doesn’t work by James Delingpole, Spectator, 14 Jan 2009:

    On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, James Delingpole says that the President-elect is horribly reminiscent of Tony Blair in 1997. He may be a fantastic guy, and look great, but he will bring a ragbag of scuzzballs, communists and eco-loons to power with him. …

    Obama, I very much fear, is Blair Mk II. Of course there are differences. Obama, for example, has been very much more open than Blair ever was about his plans for redistributive taxation. But what both men have in common is this chameleon ability to be all things to all men. …

    In four, or more likely, eight years time, America is going to wake up one morning — rather as Britain did in the dog-end of the Blair years — with the most terrible hang- over, only to find its pockets empty, its savings gone, its property trashed to virtual worthlessness, its streets rife with crime and its traditional liberties circumscribed by nannying bureaucrats and pettifogging regulation, and it’s going to ask itself: ‘Huh? How did that happen? Did someone drug me? Why didn’t I see that one coming?’

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  15. From an article at TOWNHALL: http://townhall.com/Columnists/KevinMcCullough/2009/01/25/hope_and_change

    “Not yet in office a full seven days, President Obama put his signature to an executive order that reinstated the liability of we the people as taxpayers for the deaths of hundreds ( of thousands ) of children across the globe. You get no say in this. There is no ‘opt-out’ box to check. The tax bill you submit will inextricably link you directly to the systematic deaths of these children. Their cries will not be heard, and no leftist, progressive political group will rally in Washington to end the violence against them.

    When President Obama signed the executive order forcing us as taxpayers to once again fund the Mexico City Policy, celebrations in feminist and pro-abortion offices resounded across America. How perverted is that?

    American women were shrieking with delight at the reality of you and I being forced to join in procedures, and to strongly intimidate through suggestive means, the killing of a mother’s child. How does one celebrate that?

    In other countries, many of them third world, a family’s child is one of the few sources of joy a home can know. By reissuing this policy, Barack Obama has sentenced more Latin and Black children to death than if he had simply ordered an invasion of Mexico or Somalia.”

    Jennifer Parfenovics

  16. The US stock market went down drastically after the inauguration. Business knows what’s coming. It refuses to reform and adopt sane economics however. This is fully predicted at Gary North’s site which I subscribe to. However Keynesian economics dominates all major parties world wide. Bush was thus no better at seeing an solving the causes of the Wall Street disaster that pushed McCain etc down.
    this video it tells you why economics is broken and neither side wants to fix it.

    Obama as the first black President has something to be proud of. America has come a long way however his left wing policies will bring him and the USA unstuck.

    The real problem is that we do actually need this, a final attempt at socialism, which will by failing so spectacularly, kill it finally. “The drunk needs the gutter”. But millions will suffer. That’s learning the hard way.
    Nothing else will teach people the flaws of the idea’s of the humanist left and force those who support free-market capitalism and Austrian Economics/ Christian economics to get their act together. It’s doing the latter a bit already but the right is still dogged by two problems:
    1. The right has its own humanists; the libertarians and the Neoconservatives.
    2. It still has not quite worked out how to create a system that provides: defense, Law, infrastructure and welfare without heavy taxation. See the page on my cunning plan to change taxation. http://www.geocities.com/vacoyecology/PAYERDFS.html
    I have some other crazy ideas but have not yet edited them onto the web page.
    Remember at the Summit Meetings when Doc Nobel talks about economics he says we should be reading Mises not Keynes. Here’s where http://www.mises.org/
    I check this daily some are libertarian humanists but their learning.

    Lastly the only western leader that can thrash the islamists is someone with a Moslem background and name, a nominal Christian faith and socialist ruthlessness. Barack Hussein Obama. He may become Cyrus the Great to Islams Babylon. God may be using humanism and Islamism and as gladiators sent to destroy each other.
    Note: Democrats may oppose war when their out of government but they get riled up fast and wade in with everything then their attempts at appeasement backfire. It said that “Republicans send in the troops while Democrats send in the bombers”.

    My fear is however that when its all over and someone replaces Obama, 8 to 12 years from now, his mistakes will be blamed on his skin colour not his politics.

    Someone gets it in the US:
    A good laugh.

    Wesley Bruce

  17. I too, was totally sickened to my stomach about the worship of a mere man. We as a society and even Christian society have forgotten that to put hope in man never works. I felt so grieved by all this mania for that is what it is – MANia. The only true One we can have hope in is our Lord Jesus Christ. I asked God for forgiveness on behalf of this nation for its worship of this man who is not our president but somehow has become the hope of the world or is that “economic world”? I pray for Obama and all Americans that they are woken to the truth, the light and the way before it all comes down on their heads. Whatever happens in the US will directly affect Australia. I pray that we all seek the Lord while He may be found. Please do not tear down but pray for eyes and ear to be open. For the deaf and blind to hear and see what the Spirit is saying to the churches right now. Worship of anything other than the true truine God is an abomination.
    Francesca Collard

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